Nicole stood on the front steps of the high school. Her backpack lay on the ground next to her duffel bag, which was currently filled with her soccer uniform, and a towel.
It was a warm day. It could have been summer. The grass had turned green. The trees had leaves, or at least buds. Nicole was barely noticing any of it. She was on the phone.
“My boyfriend? Mr. Noshow, you mean? He’s still not here, and soccer ended twenty minutes ago.”
Over the phone, Melissa said, “Well, he might have a good reason.”
Nicole shrugged. “If he does, he has a good reason an awful lot. I don’t think he’s ever been on time.” Continue reading Interlude: Thawed
“I hit it with the sonics. I’m guessing I didn’t damage it enough that I could punch through it myself yet. How did you get here?”
“Earthmover sent me down here right after he sent you.”
“Whoa. What happened?”
She paused for a second. “I told him that he shouldn’t have done that. Loudly.”
Nodding, I said. “That seems excessive, but I basically didn’t do anything except try to explain what was going on.”
Her shoulders drooped. “He had a little more reason. I shifted. I didn’t mean to, but it happened.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 8
That left me alone in the dark again, but one thing had changed. Before Adam talked to me, I could believe that this was unplanned, an overreaction by Earthmover who might easily be inexperienced at teaching.
Now I knew it was intentional, and that Adam, or whoever was controlling or using him, wanted me out of the way.
It seemed likely that if someone wanted me out of the way, the best thing I could do was get back in the way.
Well, assuming that I wasn’t stepping in front of a metaphorical Mack truck. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 7
Nothing happened for a long time after that. I never did learn exactly how long. All I knew for sure was that I was grateful that at least I’d gotten to eat before being shut up in a doorless and windowless room.
Okay, that’s not all I knew for sure.
I also knew that my room had breathing holes. They were on both sides of the top of my cell. The cell wasn’t much more than six feet tall. I could touch the ceiling, and had during my initial few minutes inside.
I couldn’t see at all. The cell had no light. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 6
Adam gave a hint of a smile. “Why would you think I’d know anything about that?”
“Oh.” I realized I’d given something away, and tried to think of a way to answer that did minimal damage. “Well, Troll smelled fey on you, so I guessed you might have a connection.”
He blinked. “I didn’t know it was that obvious, but yes, my powers come from the fey. I’ve never told anybody, but I suppose it had to come out sometime. Sorry, but I haven’t noticed anything unusual.”
“Really? That’s weird. I’d think you’d see something before I would, and I’m pretty sure I saw something inhuman on the Fourth of July.”
He nodded along as I talked. “Interesting. What did you see?” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 5
Wait, I thought back at him. The teachers aren’t always in the dining hall anyway. Are you sure it’s not just chance?
Pretty sure, he thought back.
Behind me, Tara had been walking with Camille and Haley. As we stepped into the dining room, Tara stopped chatting with Camille and said, “This isn’t right.”
To me at least, nothing about the dining hall seemed in any way strange. Students talked and laughed at the tables. The upperclass students mostly stuck together while the first year students took up half the room, mixing a bit with my year. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 4
Travis’ mouth twitched. “I’m pleading the fifth on that, but yeah, I like the idea. That might get us what we need. Do we have any other way we can find out more? Like his ex-girlfriend… Jaclyn, do you know where she is? Or what about Samita and Rod? Can’t you, I don’t know, summon up something?”
Samita’s mouth turned into a flat line. “Summoning is very dangerous. One wrong move and you could release whatever you summon into the world. Worse, depending on what you summon, you could put your life or even your soul in danger.”
Jaclyn started tapping furiously into her phone.
Vaughn looked up from whatever he’d been checking on his phone. “Hey, it doesn’t have to be something dangerous does it? I read one of those Dresden Files books, and in there the guy summons up fairies and feeds them pizza. Can’t you do something easy like that?” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 3
Jaclyn shook her head, and pulled her phone out of her pocket. “That’s not what interests me. What I want to know is why he’s even bothering? What do we know about him?”
“Well,” I paused, mouth partway open, wondering if I should even say it. “I’m pretty sure he’s a client of my dad’s. My dad had a client who was a superhero, and who needed therapy after quitting. Adam’s girlfriend got killed by the mob, and he went on some kind of rampage, killing anyone remotely associated, I guess. Agent Lim got him into therapy. I don’t know why he actually stopped killing and went through with it, but he did say nice things about my dad when I talked to him once.”
Fingers already tapping out something on the screen of her phone, Jaclyn said, “His codename?”
She stopped and looked up at me. “That guy? I heard about him.” Then she started tapping away again. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 2
My lab felt cramped, the air warm from body heat, and my sister’s voice cut through the low murmur of people talking.
“Remember when I joked about needing an auditorium? Next time I won’t be joking.”
We’d moved my lab tables to the walls, folded them, put everything I’d been working on into boxes, and it still felt like we had no room. All the chairs had been taken, and people sat on the floor or stood next to the wall.
By people, I meant everyone in the Heroes’ League who’d come to Stapledon, plus Courtney, plus Tara, Rod, Samita, and Amy.
The monitor of my computer showed burning buildings from a distance. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 1